Quail in the Classroom

About the Program

Northern Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus) are a native North American ground bird that historically ranged across much of the Central and Eastern United States. The species, which thrived when forests were cleared and mixed-use agriculture characterized the Colonial landscape, has suffered dramatic declines in the past century as grassland habitat has been lost to development and industrial agriculture. Bobwhite Quail have consistently been near the top of recent lists of bird species in declined, including the National Audubon Society’s 20 Common Birds in Decline report, that noted the species’ population has plummeted more than 80 percent since 1967. While Long Island is considered to be at the northern edge of their remaining range, they once thrived here when potato farms and other agriculture uses dominated the island. They have not fared well in the dense development that has spread across our region, and few, if any, wild quail populations remain on the island.

 

Since 2009, Seatuck has worked with Long Island schools to raise and release Bobwhite Quail. The project (which replaces the rearing of duck and chicken eggs during the life cycle component of the grade school curriculum) focuses on conservation lessons and the educational value in connecting students to a native species. It is not necessarily intended as an effort to restore quail to Long Island, but rather to help sustain populations in isolated pockets of suitable habitat. The birds from Seatuck’s Quail in the Classroom program are released at various parks and preserves on Long Island, often with the participation of students.

In 2021, Seatuck worked with 39 teachers from 23 different districts. More than 475 quail chicks were raised and released at the Suffolk County Environmental Center, South Shore Nature Center and Town of Brookhaven Recycling Center!

Related Information

Suffolk County Environmental Center

The Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) is a small, secretive, semi-aquatic species that is found in a wide variety of shallow wetland habitats and their adjacent upland areas. It was once considered the most common turtle in New York State and the New York City region.

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South Shore Nature Center

The South Shore Nature Center is a public nature center located in East Islip, New York. The facility is operated by the Seatuck Enviornmental Association through a partnership with the Town of Islip, which owns the property together with Suffolk County and The Nature Conservancy.

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After School Programs

Our exciting After School Naturalist Club provides students the opportunity to experience nature as it happens. This child-centered program allows for in-depth exploration of nature under the guidance of our outdoor educators.

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